31 August 1861: “We have not got a full company yet, and I fear unless we do soon we may be left out of the regiment.”

Item description: Letter, 31 August 1861, from First Lieutenant John T. Jones, Company I, 26th Regiment N.C. Troops, to his father, Edmund Jones, Clover Hill, Caldwell County, N.C.

A senior at the University of North Carolina at the outset of war in 1861, John T. Jones originally enlisted in the Orange Light Infantry (Company D, 1st N.C. Volunteers). Later in July 1861, he transferred to Company I, 26th N.C. Regiment, a company from his native Caldwell County, N.C.

Item citation: From folder 10 in the Edmund Walter Jones Papers #3543, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Camp Carolina

August 31/61

Dear Father

I have been so busy since my arrival here that I have hardly had a moment of leasure to write you before. I had a very pleasant trip of it down to Chapel Hill where I stayed two days and where of course, I had a very pleasant time of it. I found the delectable Mollie looking as pretty and as sweet as ever. The Doctor looks better than I ever saw him. From the Hill I went straight to Yorktown. There is a great deal of sickness. There was as much as I expected, mostly chills and feaver. I found no difficulty in getting my discharge. We are now as you know in the 26th regiment, Vance is Colonel, and an old college mate of mine, Burgwin is Lieu. Col. and Bynum Carmichael is Major.

I would like very much if you could get us some recruits so I could bring them down when I go up. I have been advanced one post in senior. I am now 2nd Lieu. Blair is third and makes a very good officer. Oxford has resigned and gone home since he found that he did not have sense enough to fill the office. We have not got a full company yet, and I fear unless we do soon we may be left out of the regiment. I have received the [commendation?] of my commander and other officers for the proper manner in which I suppressed a rebellion. I was officer of the guard and had the guard house full. I came down on them though too hard and about 300 men determined to take them out but I showed them different.

I think may be Vance will give me Adjutant. I wish you could see him and suggest it to him. He is not here yet but we look for him in a few days. There are several applicants for the post but I think he ought to give it to me on account of the letter I wrote him last winter.

Write soon. Affectionately

J.T. Jones


More information about John Thomas Jones:

– Enlisted as Private

Mustering information:
– Enlisted into 1st Infantry (North Carolina)
– Transferred from 1st Infantry (North Carolina) on Jul 26 1861
– Transferred to I Company, 26th Infantry (North Carolina) on Jul 26 1861
– Killed while serving in 26th Infantry (North Carolina) on May 5 1864 at Wilderness, VA

Intra-company transfers:
– Transferred from I Company to Field and Staff on Sep 27 1862

– Promoted to Second Lieutenant (Full, Vol) on Jul 26 1861
– Promoted to Captain (Full, Vol) on Apr 21 1862
– Promoted to Major (Full, Vol) on Sep 27 1862
– Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel (Full, Vol) on Jul 1 1863

Listed as:
– Wounded on Jul 1 1863 at Gettysburg, PA (“struck by a fragment of a shell”)
– Wounded on Jul 3 1863 at Gettysburg, PA (“knckd dwn, stunned, refuse leave field”)

Sources for the above information:
North Carolina Troops 1861-65, A Roster, (1993)

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One Response to 31 August 1861: “We have not got a full company yet, and I fear unless we do soon we may be left out of the regiment.”

  1. Tim says:

    Who *was* “the delectable Mollie?
    And it still stuns me to think that guys like John Thomas Jones (AB UNC, 1861) were being their regular 20-something wide-eyed, ambitious selves in summer 1861, but would be dead soon, casualties of the war.